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Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome is the name given to the symptoms seen in you if you consume heavy doses of alcohol frequently and then suddenly quit or reduce your alcohol intake considerably. These symptoms may surface anytime between six hours to a few days after you last drank.
Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome:
- Immense sweating
- High blood pressure
All these symptoms may worsen over a few days and may even last till a few weeks.
What is the root cause?
Alcohol arouses your nervous system. In case you are a heavy drinker, your body gradually gets dependent on alcohol, and cannot adapt too easily to the lack of alcohol after you have abruptly quit. This is the root cause of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS).
Who is at risk?
You are at the maximum risk of AWS if you are an alcohol addict, or you cannot gradually cut down on its intake.
How do doctors diagnose AWS?
Usually, doctors will search for a few symptoms in you, like irregular heart rate, dehydration, fever, and tremors or minor fits. A toxicology screen also helps your doctor finding out the levels of alcohol in your body.
How is AWS treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Usually are:
1. Home Care - Mild symptoms of AWS can be treated at your home. You need to go for your regular routine checkups and tests. You may also have to go to rehabilitation programs for recovering alcoholics.
2. Hospitalization - If your symptoms are more severe, you may have to be treated in a hospital, where you will be monitored and kept on a fluid diet to help prevent dehydration.
3. Medications - You can also be treated with sedatives.
Do you recover fully?
Usually, chances are that you will fully recover from AWS. If you quit drinking, take your medicines on time, and lead a healthy life thereafter. However, sleep disturbances and fatigue may persist. But, if you have severe symptoms of AWS, you should seek medical care as soon as possible to prevent any further fatal complications. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!
Schizophrenia is a complex disorder that includes delusions, loss of personality, confusion, aggression, social withdrawal and mystic behavior. People suffering from schizophrenia may apparently hear voices or tend to feel that others are controlling their minds, their thoughts or plotting against them.
Schizophrenia can be hereditary. But the condition cannot be predicted except in the case of strong family history. Also, while prediction of Schizophrenia is difficult, its prevention is no easy. It cannot be prevented except where it occurs due to drug abuse like cannabis. Also, prevention can only be talked about in first episode cases and the best way to prevent is to take medicines properly.
Three ways to keep Schizophrenia at bay:
1. Socializing and meeting people - Socializing helps you build up a high self-esteem, lowers stress and keeps you busy and distracted. It is important to connect with friends to avoid isolation.
2. Exercise and Diet - Exercise and intake of high nutrition diet are important to take care of your body. Fish oil has omega-3 fatty acids that can prevent psychotic disorders from getting worse. Consumption of these types of foods can prove to be beneficial in preventing the disorder.
3. Timely consultation - Consulting a psychiatrist if you have any symptoms, like suspicious feelings or unusual thoughts is an essential step to regulate the condition before it fully develops.
Personality refers to the enduring and habitual patterns of behaviour, cognition, emotion, motivation and ways of relating to others. In simpler terms, it's the persona we have for the world to see and interact with. If these patterns or ways of relating with others become nonadaptive or pathological, a personality disorder develops.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is such a disorder of personality that causes mood swings, self-esteem issues, impulsive behavior and recurrent self-harm behaviour. It is very difficult to lead a normal life with these varied psychological issues.
The symptoms begin to appear from early childhood but they take a serious form only when one reaches adulthood. Issues with behavior and emotion are difficult to treat, people suffering from this illness should be willing to spend a lot of time and be dedicated towards his/her recovery. Through treatments and therapies, they do make significant improvements over time.
The exact cause of borderline personality disorder is not known but various reasons have been hypothesised as possible aetiology. Neuro-chemical disturbance in the brain, genetic vulnerability, some kind of childhood trauma like abandonment, death, neglect and/ or sexual abuse are probable causes of the disease. Prolonged and chronic stress/ anxiety may also lead to triggering of BPD symptomatology in vulnerable individuals later in life.
- Prolonged dysthymia/ sadness
- Feeling lonely/ misfit
- Emotional dysregulation or Frequent mood swings
- Significant interpersonal issues
- Self-Injurious behaviour like making cuts in skin, burning, pricking etc
These symptoms are warning signs of borderline personality disorder and should be paid attention to:
- Abandonment issue - People suffering from BPD have serious abandonment issues. They have an intense fear that they would be left alone and often act out to restrict their love ones from leaving. Sometimes their strategy is to not get too close to protect themselves from being left alone, so they appear aloof.
- Disturbed self-image - People have self-esteem issues, they sometimes love or hate themselves or see themselves as evil. They have unclear goals, views, beliefs and often end up changing their friends, lovers, jobs, sexual identity frequently.
- Dysfunctional relationships - It is very difficult to maintain a normal relationship for people with personality disorder. They tend to have quick short-lived relationships and get put off very easily which leads to a lot of heartbreak.
Suicidal tendencies and frequent self-harm behaviour like cutting skin using blades/ sharp objects are common.
Drugs and alcohol abuse, eating disorders and sexual promiscuity are other forms of self-destructive behaviour commonly encountered in this population. Extreme aggression, delusions, transitional Psychotic states are other possible symptoms of BPD.
Love and support from family and friends are crucial for patients suffering from this disease. Prolonged counseling sessions, therapies and the effort to break away from the chronic gloomy thoughts will definitely lead one to a better life. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Dementia is a disorder characterized by a decline in mental capabilities in a person. It is primarily caused by Alzheimer's disease but can also be caused by damage to the brain from an injury or a stroke. The cells of the brain fail to communicate with each other in dementia. People suffering from dementia have difficulties in taking part in regular activities as their mental functioning is impaired.
The major symptoms of dementia are problems in recalling, ineffective communication, inability to concentrate and impaired reasoning abilities. It may also affect the short-term memory of a person when he/she may be unable to keep track of his/her belongings. Dementia can be progressive where the symptoms gradually increase with age.
Some early symptoms of dementia are-
1. Mood changes - Excessive mood swings along with changes in personality are very common symptoms of dementia. For instance- a reserved person suddenly becoming very outgoing is a commonly observed change in cases of dementia.
2. Problems in completing routine tasks - If a person suddenly starts to face problems in doing routine work such as maintaining simple accounts and paying bills then it can early signs of dementia.
3. Confusion - When a person starts to get confused in remembering small details and recognizing faces, it could point towards dementia.
4. Repetition - Dementia causes people to repeat words they have just said as the short term memory gets impaired. It also causes people to repeat small tasks a multiple number of times.
5. Losing interest - A person may start to lose interest in regular activities and avoid them altogether. They may appear devoid of emotions and not engage socially.
6. Communication - People fail to communicate effectively as they may be unable to express their thoughts clearly. They may also fail to understand when others communicate with them.
7. Impaired sense of direction - A person may fail to recognize places and wander around. He/she will face problems in going to places or in remembering places. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.
Although confused with natural and temporal feelings of grief or sadness, depression is not merely a weakness or something to be taken lightly. It is quite a serious issue and can last for long periods of time.
Depression does not merely involve feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness, but is much more terrible and usually has a detrimental effect on your day-to-day functioning.
There are many different types of depression. These include:
1. Major depression
2. Bipolar depression
3. Psychotic depression
4. Chronic depression (even dysthymia)
5. Seasonal depression
6. Substance-induced depression
7. Postpartum depression
8. Double depression
9. Treatment-resistant depression
10. Secondary depression
11. Masked depression
Symptoms: Signs and symptoms of clinical depression can vary depending largely on how severe it is, how long it lasts and how often it comes into play, and differs from individual to individual. While some might experience but a few signs of depression, others might experience more. Here is a list of symptoms that might indicate that you may be suffering from depression:
1. Being depressed for most parts of the day, especially in the morning
2. Feeling guilty or worthless almost every day
3. More inclined towards pessimism
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia
5. Regular contemplations of death or suicide
6. Significant weight gains or weight loss
7. Appetite loss or overeating
8. Feelings of high fatigue and low energy levels almost every day
9. Indecisiveness or impaired focus and difficulty concentrating
10. Lack of interest in almost all daily activities or hobbies, including sexual activity
11. Irritability and restlessness
12. Cramps, headaches and digestive problems which persist even with treatment
Causes: Although the exact causes of depression have not been determined as of yet, depression may be caused by a combination of a number of factors:
1. Biological differences
2. Hormonal imbalances
3. Brain chemistry
4. Inherited traits or genetic disorders
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD is a behavioral disorder that comprises impulsive behavior, inattentiveness and hyperactivity. This disorder tends to affect children more commonly, but the symptoms tend to disappear as one ages.
There are a number of symptoms for this disorder:
- Concentration problems: People affected by this disorder have problems in staying focused on routine tasks. You may have problems in listening to conversations, get distracted easily, overlook various important things and have trouble remembering various things.
- Being disorganized and forgetting things: You may exhibit symptoms such as having an extremely cluttered desk. You may also experience difficulties in completing projects and forgetting appointments. You may also lose track of time while doing important things.
- Emotional problems: Various emotional problems such as mood swings, hypersensitivity to criticism, problems in staying motivated and having low self-esteem are common signs of ADD. The disorder may also lead you to be extremely short tempered and be constantly frustrated.
- Hyperactivity: This symptom causes you to remain constantly agitated, unable to focus due to a racing mind, fidgeting constantly and talking excessively.
- Impulsivity: You will exhibit impulsive behavior such as not being able to exercise self-control, blurting out inappropriate comments and have certain addictive tendencies.
Attention Deficit Disorder can cause various problems in your life. Most of these are related to the following domains:
- Work related problems: You may constantly feel a sense of underachievement and will unable to meet your work responsibilities. You may be unable to meet deadlines, and face problems in filing paperwork.
- Relationship problems: This disorder takes a toll on your relationships such as it can create a rift between you and your family. They may feel that you are not sensitive to their concerns.
- Mental health problems: You may face various mental health problems such as drug abuse, anxiety, self-esteem issues and chronic stress.
Remedies for this disorder are:
- Get proper sleep: You should always aim to sleep for at least 6 hours every day. If you are well rested, then you will be more energetic and stress free.
- Regular exercise: You should exercise on a regular basis to keep yourself fit and healthy. It can also help you avoid problems such as obesity.
- Improve your relationships: You should schedule time for your loved ones and engage with them. It may contribute to your overall mental well-being. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Feeling tired all the time? Do you feel that you can’t focus on things anymore? Have you lost interest in things and people you once loved spending time with? Does your temper fly off the hook at the drop of a hat? If it is a ‘yes’ to the questions above, then you might be slowly but steadily succumbing to depression. Depression is a psychological disorder that is characterized by symptoms of extreme sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness over a prolonged period of time.
- Lack of Interest: This is probably the starkest of all the symptoms. Hobbies or activities that you used to enjoy once no longer catch your fancy. You do not find little or no pleasure in social activities or any other hobby of yours anymore.
- A constant Feeling of Hopelessness: You tend to develop a negative outlook towards life in general, as you feel that the current situation will never get better and will only worsen.
- Loss of Appetite: Loss of appetite is a common feature of depression; it can also lead to rapid weight loss. If engulfed by depression, one generally tends to ignore food completely, remain hungry, both of which contribute to the vicious cycle that depression is.
- Changes in Sleep Patterns: Insomnia is a condition that is marked by a sheer inability to sleep, no matter how physically exhausted one is. Depression tends to exhibit this particular symptom in maximum cases. However, oversleeping, or sleeping more than the sufficient hours is also common.
- Reckless Behavior: Depression makes one more prone to reckless behavior; one generally develops an angry and irritated persona; this in turn, may make one to exhibit reckless and rash behavior.
- Lack of Energy and Focus: Depression causes one to feel fatigued and sluggish the entire day. Factors such as a total loss of appetite contribute to this particular symptom. Stemming from these symptoms are two other major occurrences; an inability to focus on anything and an inability to decide on anything.
Self-help, Coping tips and Treatment-
- Connect with different people: Being isolated from the rest can and usually aggravates symptoms of depression. So, reach out to other people and your loved ones; talk to your loved ones and try to empty your mind when you are having a one-to-one with them. Interacting and talking to others will make you feel better and should go a long way in taking that huge rock off your chest.
- Try to ditch that sedentary lifestyle; go out in the open: An early morning jog can feel daunting at first but the benefits are immense. Exercising regularly has been proven to be as effective as anti-depressants in combatting depression. Even a 20 minutes jog early in the morning releases ‘endorphins’ in the body, also known as the ‘feel good hormones’. These hormones induce a feeling of happiness and relaxation, thus taking your mind off any particular event or circumstance that has been ruining your sanctity of late.
- Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: Avoid alcohol and drugs to come out of your sadness; they have never helped and will never help. Taking these substances provides a temporary solution to depression, as it will again show up once the effects of the intoxicants wear off. It will also interfere with other medications that you may be taking to combat depression, thus reducing their potency.
- It’s high time you bought the meditating mat: Sleep has a beneficial effect on your mental health as it has been proven to improve memory and other cognitive and brain functions. Another way to improve brain function and be more relaxed is to meditate regularly. Meditation induces a state of relaxation, and if done on a regular basis, can be an effective treatment for depression. Meditation also helps with an improved focus and reduced anxiety.
- Medications can always help: Medications such as anti-depressants are administered to treat depression. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), including citalopram, fluoxetine and sertraline are the most commonly administered medications to cure this condition. However, it is advised to try the abovementioned methods first so that you do not have to depend on medications alone; the reason being that these medications do have their fair share of side effects.
Sir, A case of love failure. I loved a girl but she likes someone else. Depression has been mine regular thing. I feel like to commit suicide. Does consulting a psychiatrist helps me out of the situation?
What ever problems you face just remain happy and calm, don't panic. Everything will be sorted out.